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Which of the following is correct in meaning and why?

  1. Whatever the situation be, you must not falter.
  2. Whatever be the situation, you must not falter.

Note: The answer should imply this - You must not falter in any situation.

  • Be is distinctly archaic in this sentence. – snailplane Nov 21 '14 at 13:06
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Both are okay. It all depends on the writing style.

Whatever be the exact number of such cases the point is that in not a single case has the sanction been given so far... - Anthropological Quarterly Summer2009, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p691-717, 27p

And,

Whatever the situation be, this would be Real Madrid’s best chance to win the Champions League in the last decade and complete the ‘La Decima’ and end their 12 year long wait for the 10th Champions League title - DNA

Think the similar concept, we do say - "Whatever the case is, he is going to win" and "Whatever is the case, he is going to win"

However, natives may help us learn which one is better and preferred.

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  • 2
    You can even leave out be altogether, and end up with a very natural sentence: Whatever the situation, you must never falter. To me that sounds even more natural than including be in any position. – oerkelens Nov 21 '14 at 10:11

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